This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
A Bay City, Mich., correspondent kindly sends the following interesting scrap from a local paper:
" There is on exhibition at J. C. Zeigler's jewelry store a rare curiosity and strong proof of the healing nature in preserving vegetable life. It is a specimen from an oak tree, from two to three inches thick, and originally about eleven inches wide, extending from past the centre to the circumference. Seven inches and a-half from the outside, in being split off, reveals the scar of a woodman's axe, which penetrated almost to the heart of the then sapling. There are two or three distinct scars, and on the growth that covered them up are the facsimiles of the scars in relief. Of the solid new wood there seems to have been 101 years growth indicated by the rings, while there is proof that several years were consumed in healing up the scar sufficiently to show a distinct ring afterwards. The new growth is seven and a-half inches thick, and on the outside is seen the mark of last year's fire. Between the tenth and eleventh ring farther in is a trace of the fires of 1871. Sixteen years farther back is another proof that the oak overcame the flames, and still twenty circles nearer the heart is another, and thus the features of the year are written in the wood. The piece came from a tree which Mr. Gould, formerly of this city, now of Beaver Creek, Gratiot county, was cutting into staves.
What axe made the scar so distinctly revealed, and who was the man who swung it, and what was he in search of in the wilderness, are questions for the imagination. It was an axe and not a tomahawk that left its trace, and was probably in the hands of a white man, who perhaps wanted to develop Gratiot county 120 years ago".
[It must be remembered that all the interior part of a tree is dead matter, and not capable of healing a wound. Only the last layer of wood-cells beneath the bark of last year is capable of making more cells from which new wood is made. These may make new wood in time, to cover a hole or wound, but not repair damages. The only growth that ever occurs in the interior of a tree is from the layer adjoining the pith. An Allanthus or a Paulownia with a pith cavity an inch wide, will often be found to have closed to a quarter of an inch or less in an aged tree. Prof. J. T. Rothrock, the learned botanist of the Pennsylvania University, in a recent address, gave it as his opinion, that wood cells could be formed from those in the interior, adjoining the pith, for several or perhaps many successive years. - Ed. G. M].